Travel: Is it worth taking a punt on winter sun bargains in the Canary Islands?
Quarantine restrictions may currently apply, but if you're prepared to book ahead there are some great deals on offer in Lanzarote, writes Sarah Marshall
IT WAS one of the early travel corridor beneficiaries, but when Spain was removed from the UK's safe travel list after only a few weeks, despondency within the travel industry set in.
A rise in coronavirus cases across Europe has resulted in quarantine restrictions being slapped on multiple destinations, forcing travellers to cancel holidays.
Spain's summer season may almost be over, but resorts and hotels are now looking towards the months ahead.
Michelle Braddock, who runs holiday home rental company Lanzarote Retreats (lanzaroteretreats.com) with her partner Tila, relies on UK tourists for 60-70 per cent of her business.
“Whilst a small percentage are still coming, it is a very challenging time for our business,” she admits. Luckily Braddock and her colleagues have welcomed more Spanish guests this summer, who tend to book later than British and Irish holidaymakers. Many Spaniards have their holidays in August, so the challenge will come this month and beyond, she says, adding: "Feelings for the future are very mixed.”
Favoured as a winter sun destination, the Canary Islands still have a chance of boosting booking later this year, once concerns around a second wave of the pandemic have subsided.
Oliver Horton, who runs Wine Tours Lanzarote (winetourslanzarote.com), offering experiences and tours of the island's vineyards and craft breweries, is upbeat.
“We are all trying to remain positive, and many of us have been working behind the scenes to improve and expand our offerings when the market picks up,” he says.
“The vibe on the island is, of course, very quiet at the moment, but there are a selection of bars and restaurants open and the main attractions have now reopened too. The sun, of course, is still shining.”
Always check the latest travel updates (and your travel insurance cover and any other relevant booking information) before making plans. But if you're prepared to book ahead, there are some great deals to be found – particularly on the island of Lanzarote.
Many operators now offer free cancellations and flight amendments, making it possible to book in advance without the worry of potentially losing out financially. Make sure your holiday is ATOL protected for even greater peace of mind.
Here are some of the best deals currently available.
:: Teletext Holidays teletextholidays.co.uk; 0208 729 3153) offer seven nights at the Occidental Lanzarote Playa hotel, overlooking El Ancla beach in Costa Teguise. Price from £245 per person (two adults sharing) on a half-board basis, including flights from London on December 2. The trip is ATOL protected and free room cancellations available (T&Cs apply).
:: Jet2holidays (jet2holidays.com; 0800 408 0778) offer seven nights at Iberostar Selection Lanzarote Park, Playa Blanca, for two Adults for seven bights B&B from December 6, including flights from Belfast and 10kg hand luggage, at £559 per person. The trip is ATOL protected.
:: TUI (tui.co.uk; 0203 451 2688) offer seven nights self-catering at the Cinco Plazas Apartments in Puerto del Carmen, from December 8, including flights from Belfast International from £649pp. TUI's Holiday Promise includes the Holiday Guarantee insurance policy and free amends for new bookings (T&Cs apply).
:: Love Holidays (loveholidays.com) offer seven nights at the Blue Sea Costa Bastian hotel, located just a short distance away from five Blue Flag beaches. Price from £313 per person (two adults sharing) on an all-inclusive basis, including flights from London on December 2. The trip is ATOL protected and free flight amendments are available (T&Cs apply).
:: Last Minute (lastminute.com) offer seven nights at the Grand Teguise Playa Hotel, situated directly on the beach promenade. Price from £396 per person (two adults sharing) on a half-board basis, including flights from Manchester on December 2. The trip is ATOL protected and a free hotel cancellation is available (T&Cs apply).